8 Insider Tips for Saving Money at Target

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Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on Living on the Cheap.

Even when armed with a detailed list and the best of intentions, many shoppers fall into the Target trap: spending much more than intended at checkout.

While these tips from longtime Target shopping expert Christy Palmer won’t help with your impulse control, they can help you save money on your next Target run.

Download the Target app and check your offers before you shop

Target app
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According to Palmer, who has been blogging about Target on her website, AllThingsTarget.com, for about 12 years, “The best way to save money with the Target app is to check your Circle offers each week.”

She recommends choosing “all” and then sorting by “discount.”

“This will show you the Circle offers with the biggest discounts first. Load the offers you are interested in and always scan your barcode when checking out to make sure all your Circle offer savings are applied at checkout.”

Carry the RedCard for maximum savings

Target packages delivered to a front door
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Palmer recommends the Target RedCard, which is offered in credit or debit form. The RedCard saves you 5% on all purchases every day, plus it gives you free shipping on orders from Target.com.

Check the ads on Sundays

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While it used to be the case, Palmer says there’s no specific time of the week that’s best for certain shopping deals at Target anymore.

“A few years ago, Target used to do markdowns in certain departments on certain days, but that system is no longer used today,” she says. “Target ads always run Sunday to Saturday.”

Shop around for competitive pricing

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Like many big-box stores, Target honors price-matching. If you find a lower price for through a competitor’s website or advertisement, show the clerk at the register.

“But the item needs to be identical and in stock in order for price matching to work,” Palmer says. “Target will also price-match their own website as well.”

Watch prices of your recent Target purchases

TVs in a Target store
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Say you purchased a TV and, a few days later, you see that it’s marked down. Target will adjust pricing for you if you purchased an item at Target and the price goes lower within a two-week period, according to Palmer.

Just be sure you hold onto your original receipt, or they can look it up if you purchased it on your RedCard. (Note that this discount doesn’t apply to clearance items.)

Look for clearance sections at the end of aisles

Clearance sign
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Some Target clearance items can be found on an “end cap” in their respective departments. Think: discounted shampoos at the far end of the haircare section.

“These end caps are usually facing a wall. It’s not normal to see clearance shelves on the main walking aisles,” says Palmer. “You will usually see big yellow clearance signs posted at the top of the shelves.”

Shop after holidays for deeper discounts

Shoppers in checkout lines at a Target store
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“Most clearance items get marked down from 30 to 50 to 70 percent,” says Palmer.

“70% off is the lowest an item will go,” she says, unless it’s a holiday markdown like Christmas, Halloween, Easter, and Valentine’s Day items, which generally go up to 90% off over time.

Combine discounts and coupons

Pile of coupons.
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Lastly, Target allows you to combine offers on single items. So, if you have a percentage-off Circle offer and a manufacturer’s coupon, Target will honor both.

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